A champion career
He’s one of only four athletes ever to win five consecutive Olympic gold medals – yet Sir Steve Redgrave almost stopped himself going for his monumental fifth title.
After his fourth Olympic triumph in Atlanta 1996, he famously said: ‘If anyone sees me near a boat again they can shoot me.’ Yet he was back on the water within days and four years later stormed to victory in Sydney 2000.
What compelled Sir Steve to keep going back again and again? He’s certainly no stranger to adversity. His battle with diabetes led to doubts that he would make the start-line in Sydney. Yet his determination to succeed drove his bid to go for the historic fifth gold medal.
To be in the presence of Britain’s greatest Olympian is somewhat overwhelming. At 6’5 he towers above me; the oarsman’s physique that powered the boat to victory still remains, eleven years on. In person, Sir Steve is warm and relaxed. He recalls his Olympic achievements with great passion and a huge smile. “I’d love to do it all again,” he admits.